Central and Eastern European Conflict Timber project

Countries: Main timber sample collection areas: Ukraine and Belarus; Additional timber samples also collected from: Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Croatia and Moldova.

Partners: World Forest ID (WFID), Royal Botanic Gardens Kew

Summary: In light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the opportunity for Russia to finance the war or subsequent occupation through sales of timber, the Central and Eastern European Conflict Timber project seeks to build on existing voluntary measures, punitive tariffs and sanctions on the direct import of timber to make it harder for Russia to circumvent these measures. Specifically, this project is designed to support the widespread use of scientific testing techniques to scrutinize claims about the origin of timber from this region. Current reference libraries lack samples of key species which grow in Russia but also throughout Ukraine and neighbouring countries. This project therefore aims to build up a georeferenced database of timber samples so products in trade can be tested against this reference data to validate the species and location of harvest.